Family's triple treat: Tigers’ brothers in arms excited for Dubbo clash

FAMILY FIRST: Ben McKenna will return to where it all began when he lines up alongside his two brothers for the Tigers today. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

FAMILY FIRST: Ben McKenna will return to where it all began when he lines up alongside his two brothers for the Tigers today. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

ORANGE Tigers Central West AFL clash with Dubbo Demons gives the McKenna family a unique opportunity.

The away fixture provides Ben, Mitch and Jesse McKenna the chance to play alongside each for the first time.

Despite all being Tigers juniors, the trio have never taken the field together.

“It’s going to be pretty exciting,” Ben McKenna, who returns to the Tigers after several seasons in Victoria, said.

“It’s great to be able to get back to my junior club, especially to play alongside my brothers. We’ve never had this chance before this year.

“Mitchell is going to play his 100th senior game for the Tigers in the next couple of weeks too, I’d love to be able to celebrate that with him on the field.”

After moving to Albury for university in 2010, Ben played two seasons with Lavington Panthers in the Ovens and Murray Football League. From there, he uprooted and moved to Melbourne to play with Box Hill Hawks’ reserves club, the third highest graded competition in the state.

“It was eye opening,” McKenna said of his time in the competition.

“I realised the sheer difference in the way the game is played. It’s so much faster, and you extend your knowledge of the game very quickly, and your awareness of how to read play.”

McKenna, a cafe and cocktail bar manager, admitted he knows little about Dubbo but said he expects the Demons to be tough at home.

“Any team can win on their day,” he said.

“We have the utmost respect for the Demons outfit, they’ll be out there to win.”

Tigers’ coach Nathan Pearce agreed, giving his troops one message this week - don’t get cocky after last round’s 36 point win over arch-rivals Bathurst Bushrangers.

“We’ve been burned by Dubbo in Dubbo too many times,” Pearce said.

“At least the last three seasons we’ve gone up there and been beaten, it can’t happen this season.

“If we don’t show Dubbo the respect they deserve it will hurt us.”

First bounce is at South Dubbo Oval is at 2.30pm.

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